You rip up the old beige carpet, matted down with fifty years of footsteps. Dust whirls up: bantam bits of grandparents and babies and pets and dinosaurs and rocks from space. The history of the universe and yesterday’s Chihuahua dandruff are equal here, spinning gold in the light from the window.... read the rest at TIMBER
The morning smells like freshly-baked bread / and low-tide sea creatures. Someone whistles / for their dog. Someone asks for their coffee to go. / Someone picks out a Sam Cooke song on the guitar. / We listen to tourists’ footsteps on the boardwalk above / and cup our terrible song in fingers stained with seaweed / and nicotine... read the rest at Sweet Tree Review
You are Mary and I am Laura / and Jack is our pet tornado / churning across the berm. / He twists up grass and a / murmuration of starlings. / He twists up a swarm of locusts.... read the rest at Menacing Hedge
DIDO BAKES A PIE
Today, I gathered
the strawberries that
grew wild after you
left. Snipped the runners
running from their beds,
flicked baby slugs from
of serrated leaves,
deposed red berries
from their sprouted crowns....
DEMETER SCRUBS THE BATHTUB
When winter gives way to wet,
our breath more water than air,
you think of flowers:
snowdrops and cherry blossoms,
lilacs pearled in purple-beaded bundles,
He’s the original Adam, cable-knit sweater pulled down
over his missing rib. He’s thinking about ending things
with Eve—not because he doesn’t love her, I mean God,
look at their history—but because he can’t remember...
HERA TAKES DOWN THE CHRISTMAS TREE
I begin with the smallest ornaments, start at the top
and work my way down, lift the fine filament hooks
from every browning branch. The tree’s fragrance rises
at each violation, its pine scent strong and tangible.
It stretches like an animal above my head....
The little girls watch Peter Pan in the living room, bare
toes curled against the arm of the overstuffed
chair they share under a zebra-striped blanket.
An animated Captain Hook shoots
one of his mates in the middle of a song.
Smee genuflects in his chubby humble way....
It starts with the hemistich hitch in her step.
A henchwoman’s tell, regret stopping up the gait
with sediment. This moon’s stepdaughter can’t keep
swindling tarot cards and sneaking roofies
into her own whiskey-gingers...
THE VALKYRIES CLEAR THE TABLE
The heroes have autographed the table again
with their glasses, rings of condensation
in looped cursive circles that interrupt
each other’s epics. We take turns
riding to the shoreline
to measure the water’s rise....
If it weren’t for the air frothed thick with lilacs
it would feel like August. The lawn under my bare feet
still warm from the sun, even beneath the moon’s round face.
It’s nearly one a.m., late for this morning girl,
but I couldn’t sleep with the laundry out and rain coming....
The hollows of what would have been
my children pock the mud in mucky swallows—
not even the clamor of shattered shell
or broken bones, just the gulping absences
sunk among reeds and sweet-grass....
SPRING, AS DIRECTED BY ALFRED HITCHCOCK
Someone is whistling in the dark alleys
left over from winter. The soggy ditch where green
hasn’t reached yet, or the thicket growing over
the gutter. A chickadee, maybe, eyes
buried in the shadow of his black fedora...
They ask what’s the point—a life cycle
bookended by shit, all for a vacation inside
your black and shiny body.
But hasn’t everyone wanted to be
someone else for a while? Smudged
the line between enchanted and enchained?
SPIRE; FIRST IMPRESSION; A CORNER TO HAUNT
In your branches cathedrals gather,
twist in fine green tendrils. My clinging
runners curl ahead to scatter
in your bones. It feels holy,
doesn’t it? Let me froth your marrow,
let me lather bells across your body,
let me in. Lovers should be close....